Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Make that money, Watch it Burn

Counting Stars -One Republic lyrics

It happened on a Friday afternoon.
The day had been good so far. I'd gotten a stuffed black bear from a girlfriend at work. I'd successfully tossed a Skittle into someone's mouth and had them catch it for the first time in my life. I had a nice lunch with Chris, and Hector, and Todd - my friends from the legal department at work.
And it was Friday - JEANS Friday, no less.
What isn't good about that?

Around 4 o'clock though, everything changed.

I won't go into all the gory details here and now, but suffice it to say that I am a full-time photographer as of Friday at 4:30 p.m. 
It was earlier than I'd planned, and I'm nervous, and scared, but really excited also.

If I'm being completely honest, not going to my old job this morning was quite literally one of the best feelings ever.
I feel free.
I feel better.
I feel the fist in my chest that has been lodged there from stress and anxiety and a constant feeling of failure for the past two years, loosen and release, and it's good.
I feel like I can be honest, for the first time in a long time. I can say what I want.

I think what I want to say is this:
For the past two years, I have worked at a financial company in Scottsdale called Walton.
I never wrote the company name here before, because if they ever found my blog and didn't like what they read I could've lost my job. Now that that isn't an issue....
I was a department coordinator in Business Development, and I quickly found out after being hired, that I worked for the most difficult person in the office.
I had unknowingly taken the one and only position at this company that didn't get even one single internal applicant when it became available. I had unknowingly taken a position that they had tried for nearly a year to fill, and were unsuccessful because no applicant wanted to work for my new boss.
I tried, for two years, to do my best and make it not only work, but thrive.
I tried, at first at least, to climb and succeed and do well there.
After a while though, I started just trying to survive. To make it from Monday to Friday, and keep my head down, do a good job.
I was good at my job, but I wasn't happy with it, however the steady paycheck and good benefits kept me from feeling like it was OK to say that I didn't want to do that forever.
That I wanted out.
That I was never going to be happy there.
I am not a person who was meant to wear a pantsuit.
I am not someone who thrives in meetings, or feels at home in a conference room.
Nothing against those who are. I tried to be one of you. I'm just not.
And there were, of course, other reasons why I was so unhappy.
There was the abuse, the condescension, the open and unmasked gender discrimination. There were the meetings with my boss that I walked out of crying, the nights I scrambled to find someone to pick my kids up for me so I could stay late and finish something he was supposed to do himself, only to be berated and left without thanks anyway.
That was the past two years.

Now that it's over, I can just barely stifle my excitement with the slightest tinge of fear or worry.
I know it's a chance, and I know it's a risk, but I also know that it's worth it.
I know that no paycheck is worth your dignity, your happiness, or your right to respect as a human being.

So, to make a long story....still pretty long....I am now and {hopefully} always will be a full time wedding and family photographer.
All of this is thanks in no small part, to the best friends who have pushed and encouraged and supported me from the very first photo shoot I did, without ceasing and without mercy.
It's also, obviously, in thanks to the brides and families who have allowed me to be present for some of the most important memories of their lives.
Each and every one of them has changed me, pushed me, enlightened and blessed me. Every time I'm booked for a job, it feels like the very first time.
Every time I leave a photo shoot or a wedding, my heart is full.

Thank all of you.


Don't have any idea what I'm talking about? View my photography work here.
Like my photography, but aren't in need just yet? I make other stuff, too.
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Also, shameless plug, if you are getting married and in need of a photographer, don't let geography stop us from working together! Now that I'm doing this fulltime, traveling for weddings is significantly easier and more doable. Contact me and let's chat.

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